Facts You Ought to Know About Hepatitis

Nobody would ever want to suffer from any health problem. What more if the condition you would have is a severe one? This might greatly affect the way you see life. One of the common health conditions that many people are suffering from is hepatitis. Hepatitis is known as a serious liver disorder that may affect just about five million Americans. So, while this is quite a serious disease, you want to know more facts about the causes, treatment options and types of hepatitis.

Knowing this essential information should help you become more aware of the condition.

What Exactly Is Hepatitis?

Hepatitis is widely known as an internal condition. It includes the inflammation of the patient’s liver, which is most normally caused by certain viral infections. Few kinds of hepatitis may result to discomfort as they eventually disappear, while others such as chronic hepatitis C may be deadly.

Viral kinds of hepatitis, namely A, B, C, D and E, are being contracted in different ways. Aside from these, there are non-viral causes of hepatitis as well that are related to autoimmune disease and toxic exposures.

Hepatitis is known to be the primary cause of liver cancer. It’s also the leading reason for the rising frequency of liver transplants. Over a million people in America alone have been affected by hepatitis B, while around three million suffer from chronic hepatitis C.

The liver is the one responsible for the process of harmful substance filtration from the bloodstream, including toxins, hormones, fats, cells, and the yellowing substance known as bilirubin.

Bilirubin is a byproduct from the breakdown of the old RBCs (red blood cells). Once the liver becomes tender, enlarged, and inflamed, it reduces or even removes its ability to function the way it should. Consequently, toxins which will be filtered out through the liver will accumulate inside the body, while nutrients will no longer be stored and processed the way they should be.

Different Types of Hepatitis

Among the viral bases of hepatitis, hepatitis A, B, and C are known as the most popular. Two other types of hepatitis are D and E. Among the viral forms, hepatitis C is considered as the most severe one. It leads to the estimated number of deaths of 10,000 annually. A substantial percentage of hepatitis C infections result in persistent liver disease. This virus enables the liver to slowly progress, while ultimately causing devastating damage to it.

Both hepatitis A and B may also turn out to be dangerous. The virus causing hepatitis A might lead to severe liver disease, yet it may be treated within a couple of months. It might lead to high-pointing fevers. It’s also more serious for adults as compared to children. On the other hand, the virus in hepatitis B holds the 85% rate of recovery, while 15% of them develop liver cancer or cirrhosis.

Among the more uncommon viral hepatitis forms, sometimes, hepatitis D displays along with hepatitis B, forming a deadly combination.

There’s another form of hepatitis known as toxic hepatitis. This type doesn’t exactly form due to viruses, yet it takes place from too much exposure to certain toxins like alcohol and drugs. On the other hand, autoimmune hepatitis is another type that occurs when the immune system of the body becomes affected and bothers its own liver even without any viruses around.

Hepatitis Signs and Symptoms

When a patient has hepatitis, it might display in such a way comparable to a short period of flu. Some of the symptoms of hepatitis may include the following:

  • Weakness
  • Vomiting
  • Nausea
  • Fever
  • Loss of Appetite
  • Muscle Pains
  • Drowsiness
  • Joint Pains

Some other signs that you have to watch out for hepatitis symptoms include abdominal discomfort, clay-colored stools, dark urine, and jaundice, which is the condition in which the skin or the eyes turn yellowish because of bilirubin accumulation. When you suffer from hepatitis, a plain blood test would represent elevated enzymes of the liver. Additional blood examinations may aid in determining the present virus, if any.

Hepatitis Prevention

Vaccinations for hepatitis A and hepatitis B are available for people at risk, like healthcare personnel. A vaccination for hepatitis A is helpful for patients with known exposure or possibility of exposure since it can prevent disease transmission. Patients for hepatitis B vaccination may include people living with a hepatitis B carrier, people with sex partners suffering from hepatitis B, people born to mothers with the disease, and healthcare workers. While no vaccination is present for hepatitis C, everyone should know and understand that prevention of blood-to-blood contact with those infected people is crucial.

The best technique is to consider all the precautionary measures to prevent development of hepatitis. It should include avoiding blood or sexual contact with anyone who might be infected. Be sure to discuss everything with a medical professional if you believe that you might be at risk.

Sources:

De Oliveria Andrade LJ, D'Oliveira A, Melo RC, et al. Association between hepatitis C and hepatocellular carcinoma. J Glob Infect Dis. 2009 Jan;1(1):33-7.

Aspinall EJ, Hawkins G, Fraser A, et al. Hepatitis B prevention, diagnosis, treatment and care: a review. Occup Med (Lond). 2011 Dec;61(8):531-

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